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Introduction to healthy eating • Adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables is a health behaviour that protects against a range of illnesses prevalent among Australians. For example - coronary heart disease, hypertension, strokes, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. • People aged between 12 and 18 years are recommended to be eating three servings of fruit and vegetables daily while those aged 19-24 should increase this to two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables.
Age Groups and statistics • Study shows that only 26% of young people age between 12 to 18 claimed they ate three or more serves of fruit and 47% consumed this number of vegetables. • Similar numbers of those 19-24 met the guidelines, with 57% not having sufficient amounts of fruit each day and only 8% eating the recommended five serves of vegetables. • This under consumption of fruit and vegetables raises concerns about the eating habits developed by young people and the health issues that may result from this.
Causes • Selected High School students completed a survey and that 25% reported consuming snacks such as chocolate, cake, chips and ice-cream at least five times a week and 22% had consumed soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice or cordial five times or more in the same period. The types of food are typically HIGH in fat, salt and/or sugar, and LOW in fibre, which can contribute to: • High Blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels, which are precursors to coronary heart disease • High energy intake, which leads to weight gaining • Insufficient nutrition intake, causes bones to not grow as normal • Poor dental health
Elevated levels of insulin, a predictor of type 2 diabetes, were found in around 20% of year 10 students who were tested. • 25% of the same group that of the same group also had high blood pressure. In both groups cases the measures were higher among males then females. • The limited consumption of fruit and vegetables suggests that young people may be skipping meals, as not eating 3 meals a day makes it harder to eat the recommended amount.
Research has identified that the maintenance of healthy weight is closely linked to the regular consumption of breakfast, lunch and dinner, making skipping meals a risk factor for becoming overweight or obese. • Results from the 2004 NSW SPANS report indicate that a significant proportion of young people, particularly girls, did not eat breakfast, with only 67% percent of boys and 59% of girls in year 10 regularly consuming breakfast.
Vocabulary • Coronary Heart Disease – Is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart • Hypertension – abnormally high blood pressure • Prevalent - widespread in a particular area or at a particular time.